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Thread: XB12R 3rd Gear Replacement

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  1. #1

    XB12R 3rd Gear Replacement

    Good afternoon XB lovers,

    I have my 2004 XB12R bike apart and both main shaft and counter shaft 3rd gears are shot. As a result, they have chewed into the shift fork.

    Can someone direct me to the best place to get main shaft and counter shaft 3rd gears and corresponding shift fork?

    I welcome advice and tips on the process. I am all ears. I have a manual and am all about following directions. That said, I appreciate other people’s experience and wisdom greatly!

    Thanks in advance for any help with this.

    Tim

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Bike dismantlers like Pinwall cycles would have trans gears as a set, I've had good experiences with them being honest to me. E-bay has a lot for sale as well YMMV with that. Obviously get the lowest mile ones you can.

    If you are looking for new parts, get the part numbers from the book or online (NCCR) and ask your local HD dealer for the PART NUMBERS you need. You get way less guff from HD that way without saying the red-headed stepchild word "Buell" haha. Parts guys are notoriously lazy, but hey, right now they are starving so who knows...

    Alternatively you can get parts or repairs done at a good motorcycle shop that specializes in transmissions. I have had a great experience with R&D Motorcycles in Tampa. (727)785-1324. Never been there personally but I shipped them a hard-to-get hashed trans and they machined it back to awesome for me. Its a little more expensive than stock replacement but you can fine tune how it works, like shift effort and neutral by the shape and degree of the undercut in the dogs. Super smart people and very helpful on the phone

  3. #3
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Ok, so what do you mean by “best”? Are you referring to the best quality rebuild? You may want to reach out to someone who does Buell engine work like Hammer or NRHS to see what they think. Since you have to strip the motor down entirely to get to the trans gears, these guys have likely done it a lot. You may also have good luck letting Harley have at it as rebuilding that motor trans is similar to a late model Sportster. This would probably be the best quality deal.

    If you mean best bang for your buck, you’re probably better off just buying a salvage motor and replacing it.
    This is also a better option as you will need a dedicated working area that will probably be fully utilized by this project as the motor will likely be apart for a week or so. Swapping in a salvage engine will probably be an “easier” option if you do not have a workshop or garage.


    From working on the other end of the parts counter, it’s not so much that all parts guys are lazy or unknowledgable. Some of us just get tired of looking up a laundry list of parts, just to have the customer give us a rude snarky comment about the price and then tell us their going to go buy everything online anyhow. And while this is happening, behind the Buell guy is the guy who just dropped $30k on his new bike and is happy to drop another $30k at the parts counter on a Stage 4 kit, accessories, etc.
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 03-30-2020 at 12:54 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member squidbuellie's Avatar
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    For new parts... harley. If you need all of the parts number let me know I have the pats catalog.

    Another option is buying used and there are plenty of options from eBay to Craigslist.

    Now if you go the used route you need to know this. You can only use 03-05 strait cut gears the 06-09 has a spiral gear transmission.
    you also can use lighting or firebolt and it does not matter if it’s a xb9 or xb12 the gears are the same and transmission gear ratio is the same.

    What changes the gearing between xb9 and xb12 is the primary gear drive.

    I’m assuming your doing it yourself because harley or any relatable shop would charge you more then what the bike is worth.

    so it’s a pretty easy job, just Time consuming. I’m assuming again you have the case apart already you will want to get a bolt that will fit in the gear select neutral switch hole to hold the little arm out of the way while putting the cases back together.. I have used a Philips screwdriver but it can be tricky and you don’t want to bend that little arm.

    Other then that everything is common sence. You want to get new base gaskets and head gasket. The valve cover gaskets can sometime be saved. Same with push rod tube seals... I like to use Yama bond for the case halfs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Good call squidbuellie, I forgot about that difference.

    Also, the shifter lever (the part inside the priimary is also different and early ones do not fit later cases and vice versa.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    It sounds like the OP already has it out and apart. Thats how he knows specifically whats wrong? At that point it would be best to fix it and refresh everything else too

    I didn't mean to be too harsh on parts guys, and 34:19 makes a valid point. My experience with the HD dealers out here is only say "Buell" as a last resort. Ironically, Bartels HD has Mitsu (a very well known Buell tech) working in their shop and I still get guff from them at the counter.

    I will say that being prepared with the part number and Harley model cross reference makes a huge difference I also bring a little bottle of Kahlua to the guy for his coffee (at 9am!) lol.
    Last edited by Cooter; 03-30-2020 at 06:12 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Whoops! Yeah you’re right. I should work on my reading comprehension. It sounds like he is in up his elbows and going for it!

    Tim- you may want to peruse the online catalogs at Twin Motorcycles to put together some part #’s and google them for approximate pricing. Good luck and let us know how it works out!

  8. #8
    A random update: and sorry for the long reply...

    You all are amazing! Your comments are spot on. I am arguing whether or not to freshen up the guts as there are still honing marks on the sleeves. Heads are in great shape.

    Cooter- I bought the R Bike bike CHEAP! 79k miles knowing it would be not about $$$. Y’all helped me last summer with a laundry list of electrical issues. All the while knowing 3rd gear was an issue- yet I continued to roll it around the Austin area. The bike runs FANTASTIC!

    Correct- it is now apart- and whoever was in the bike before me did everything right. Crank is still in spec- the bike - I would guess has no more than 2k on a rebuild- bronze oil drive gear- and everything looks good. Also correct in assuming I’m doing the work.

    The transmission:
    3419- I ended up purchasing a replacement transmission same year - model. Squid- I did not know 9’s and 12’s we’re interchangeable. Thanks.

    I made a neutral detent tool to keep from bending the switch arm.

    I am fortunate to have gotten to know a few of the parts guys at our local Harley Store (Central Texas Harley D). They know me as the Buell guy. They are very helpful with last minute parts.

    The boxed Buell:
    I purchased an XB12S for parts and- since I bought it in boxes, there were a few nuts and bolts I had to replace/source. I tore that engine apart and decided to go ahead and rebuild it. Hammer provided the 1275 kit. A local guy that does all of the local custom shop work around here rebuilt the crank and I replaced the rods.

    Cooter- I did freshen up all the bearings and seals for the S Bike build. I spent 500.00 for the boxes and did my first data log today on it. Hence my tuning post. I am nearing the 400 mile mark with the Lightning.

    Back to the R Bike:
    Once I get the transmission back in, I will update. I appreciate all the wisdom of this group. I continue to learn as I scout this forum! Again, thanks!

    BTW- I am adding the volt meter mod to both bikes- the R & Lightning - I have 3 extra meters if anyone is interested.

    Tim

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